IV Step is over. Now what?
We learned so much on many different topics at the conference: from tech to research to outcome measures to “the dental model” (scheduling PT check-ups at least annually like dentists do) to dosage and timing all as related to our 4Ps: Prevention, Prediction, Plasticity and Participation. But how to we take that large mass of information, digest it and do something about?
Well, you’ve been reading my personal step #1. I re-read my notes and the lecture slides to write the posts you’ve been following along with. Going over everything again has reiterated the important bits for me. So I encourage everyone else to do the same: go back and put it in your own words.
Then we must reflect on how the recommendations compare to our own and the generally accepted practice of a physical therapist. Where are we lacking? We must be willing to admit fault, of course. Where are excelling?
Next, we must take small steps to improve the areas where we are behind. Even small steps in the right direction are positive changes! Any change is hard, much more when it’s to a idea that backs up an activity you perform everyday! Realize that the therapy world is evolving, and we must evolve with it or pass on into extinction with the dinosaurs. Seek out mentors to help you along too.
But, there are more than likely some areas in which you are excelling as well. Share those areas with others and be willing to take mentees under your wings.
Personally, one of my lacking is in making myself open to patients as a resource tool. To change this, I’m trying to be more open to performing home evaluations for my patients. I’ve done one and am planning on another this week. I also have gotten myself some business cards, so that I can be an entry point resource within the community. I also hate doing body weight supported treadmill training, because the logistics make it very challenging to achieve for what I see as minimal gain in the 2-3 weeks I have my patients. But I’ve reviewed the protocols I learned in a CEU course a few years ago and tried my best not to balk when my student suggested it for one our patients. We’ll be doing that tomorrow.
Then I found myself nodding along with the knowledge translation bits at the tail end of Tuesday. I think I do a fairly decent job disseminating knowledge to those who care to seek it here. I have also reached out my corporate office to see if I can’t my hospital Journal Club to the national corporate level and get CEU credits for attending. Still working out the kinks in that, but I’m hopeful. I may need to get down into the dirty work of calling the boards myself. I know Texas’s PT board will not take a Journal Club for CEU credit. Maybe I’ll have to petition them too! Participating in Journal Club is way more advantageous that taking 30 1 hour silly online credits that I know so many people do.
Which brings me to my final challenge. When choosing your CEU credits, I would highly recommend doing only in-person courses of high quality, such as national or international conferences like CSM or the annual state conferences or those sponsored by one of the Academies or APTA or WCPT or by another well known organization, such as NDTA , Neuro-IFRAH, Aquatic Therapy University, NeuroRTI. LSVT, PWR! just to name a few that popped into my head or hosted by a university. Push yourself beyond the “piddly nothing” (as my mom would say) 1 hour online classes. I’ve taken some myself and the quality on them truly has been rather low, some worse than others. And beyond that, there is usually no opportunity for hands on learning nor questions. The one exception I took that did have opportunity for questions was ok, but others did not benefit from my questions and I didn’t benefit from theirs either. I realize a lot of this has to do with time and money constraints. Make a vacation out of it. Get there a few days early or stay a few days late and have fun. Bring the family! Plus, it is tax deductible! I try to highlight such courses here, but I surely can’t cover them all. Consider joining a SIG to get info on courses pertaining to your particular area of interest and join discussions on hot topics. Ok, I think I’m off my soap box, which has caused me to miss my group gym class tonight. That’s how important I feel this is.
Go out there. Challenge yourself. Challenge your patients. Challenge the status quo!
Just a quick heads up on where the blog will go from here. Since I’ve been working on the IV Step series for a MONTH now, I’ve missed several good news bits, but I’ve tried to pass them on at the social media sites, although without much comment. I’ll be getting back those. I’ve also neglected book reviews, which are a little backed up. We’ll be getting to those as well. And I did get word of a very interesting looking CEU course, which will be posted up soon too. So basically….